Anything With a Beginning and End

Moving was very hard last week, both running, and stretching out my hands to type, I don’t know why. This week I’m under the weather, I might be ill, I might not be, my body is trying to decide. So, things have quickly developed from being one of those weeks, to being one of those lives. A bad moment is not but a moment when it is bad enough, and exceeds three days; I keep saying that to myself, even though I know it’s not true. There will be fragmented jogs, many attempts at one blogpost, and pre-battle jitters about the non-negotiables in my life, this is how it’s going to be for now.

Eventually it will be different. One extended period of strain will blend into a period of satisfaction easier to attain, but I don’t know when. Something is willing me to perceive this as my life now in the meantime, even though I really shouldn’t; if I am to do it, there are some delusions that will help me along, such as the one that states that if something is really hard, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

In this blogpost about the idea of being gifted, I spoke about ‘naturalness bias’, which I found in this article about why people reward talent over hard work. People tend to appreciate people who give everything to be brilliant less than they do people who don’t have to try to be. This is true of jobs and the talented candidates that get in over qualified ones; we’re also likely to prefer fresh juice to squash, and other things that are grown instead of made. It’s an unconscious belief, to think the assured path is made of ease, and that the things that are fated are the things we glide through. But on that same low-level consciousness is a view that has been proven time and time again, so much by our own lives that we barely have to think about it– easy is cheap.

I learnt that in the back of my mum’s 2005 Vauxhall Zafira on Saturday mornings in the early 2000s, on the way to ballet, tap, contemporary dance classes, sewing classes, fashion history classes, and all of the hobbies I fast outgrew. I learnt it about anything with a beginning and end, anything with term dates, end of year exams, anything that began full and needed to end empty, or anything that began empty and needed to be made full. My parents were addicted to levelling this mantra at all of us children– ‘finish it’, or, ‘push through’, depending on how difficult a thing it was to complete. We needed to grow strong, and there would never be a better time. Too much sun would’ve thinned our branches. 

It became a habit over the years, to finish these prolonged, unprovoked moments of difficulty, and to let them end. Octavia Butler said that ‘Habit is more dependable than talent’, she’s right, easy things do not form habits, they create an intolerance for ebbs and flows, so that you do not believe there are ebbs and flows.

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